I was in London yesterday; it is only here that the weather is as dark and dreary as the one found in my village. I wanted to see Algis, the guy who makes some of my necklaces — I was running short of the latter, and the awe inspiring, and I knew he could supply me with both.
I roamed around the London streets until I arrived at his workshop. The front door had been left open. I found his body bent, his face close to the necklace he was working on. I stood in the doorway, not wanting to disturb him while he worked, enclosed by crystals, pearls and silk threads hung on the surrounding walls.
There was a table on his right, displaying an array of statement necklaces with intricate concoctions of dyed braids, pearls, crystals and chains. Some had small skulls hanging, and all of them alluded to the Victorian era, when human hair was combined with jewellery to remember the loved ones who passed away — the era where the queen herself mourned love. I really should have kept some hair from the one I fell in love with.
“Madeliene, I didn’t hear you come in!”
He came to kiss me on the cheek as he always did, holding my shoulders with the tips of his fingers stained with green and blue dye.
“I see you came prepared!”
I had put my hair up in a messy chignon and worn a long sleeved white dress which hit right under my knees.
“Darling, consider me white space for your necklaces.”
He led me to the table where the necklaces were displayed on a velvet cloth. There were cameos of bugs attached to dyed silk braids, pearls entwined with chains and skulls hanging on to crystals; they looked as elaborate as the moulding found on the walls of my village.
“How do you want to feel Madeliene?”
“Like love mourned, Algis. I want to look like love being mourned.”
He raised the velvet cloth when I said this and, exposing the dark veins of the wooden table, he opened a drawer and took out a necklace adorned with a dark charcoal silk braid and clear crystals which had been dipped in gold. He moved behind me and wrapped the necklace around my neck.
“This is the Casablanca luxe necklace.”
“Oh, you’re good,” I said, recalling love lost in Casablanca.
“Mourning has never looked more alluring Madeliene.”
“Can I stay here for a while?” I asked, as I turned towards him, with the heavy necklace around my neck.
I stayed there for an immeasurable time, surrounded by silk dye, crystals and skulls, while Algis sewed the braids on his most elaborate piece yet.
Story credit: Jolita Jewellery for the image & the inspiration.